Today is St Patrick’s Day… and although I’m not from Ireland, my stitching grandmother was – she had the very Irish name of Mary McDowell. Her family settled in England in the early 1900’s when she was a young child. She met and fell in love with my grandfather before the First World War but before they could marry he was sent to the trenches of Flanders. In 1916 she received an official telegram notifying her that he was missing, presumed dead and she grieved for him for 12 long months before she received further notification that in fact he had been injured and was now in a prisoner of war camp. Imagine how she must have felt! They married upon his return and were together for 30 years before her tragically early death in the 1950s.
I never met Mary, but my own Mum (her daughter) told me many stories about her – she was an accomplished seamstress and needlewoman, skills that were in great demand in World War 2, and the era of “make do and mend.” She passed her talent and store of stitching knowledge onto my Mum who in turn taught me to sew – and I still have one or two examples of her work tucked away.
So I thought it would be a great idea to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a giveaway – one of my little knitted bunnies. Above you see Teasel, dressed in a suitably coloured jumper of Irish green. But if he’s going to be a St Patrick’s giveaway I feel he should have an Irish name. If you’d like the opportunity to win him, then please leave a comment below and – just for fun – please suggest a new Irish name for him. The winner will be chosen by random selection and yes, I will post overseas. The draw will close at midnight GMT tomorrow Sunday, 18 March. Good luck everyone!!